Food Industry leaders say UK branding may leave Welsh produce at a disadvantage
Wales exports a large amount of produce including Lamb and Beef every year to various countries around the world through EU trade agreements.
But in an international survey released today, it was revealed that many of the countries the food is exported to have a negative view of British products. Research shows that in France 6% find it positive and 22% find it negative. Compared to India where 53% find it positive, and a much lower 5% find it negative. An average of 43% don’t know what to think.
Hybu Cig Cymru, Meat Promotion Wales, has warned allowing Welsh produce to be branded as British is a major disadvantage in those key markets.
They believe that Welsh produce should feature the Welsh dragon instead of the Union flag.
Rhys Llywelyn, head of marketing for Meat Promotion Wales, says Welsh food products are seen as “premium brands”.
“We should be proud to be under the Welsh flag, and all the benefits being under that brand brings.”
“It is important that we do brand [Welsh Products] appropriately with a dragon or Welsh branding.
“The consumer associates those brands with a quality, healthy product and something of increased value.”
Butcher Ian Caulfield, who works in Cardiff market says “it’s a very good idea, because it pushes local products.
“Customers like to know that it’s a Welsh product, so a symbol showing it’s Welsh rather than British would actually aid the whole of the market.”
But some say the UK branding of the union flag opens doors for Welsh produce to enter international markets.
Conservative AM and Shadow Minister for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Andrew R. T. Davies says Wales has “a very strong brand we’ve grown over the last 20 or 30 years, and we should continue to grow it.
“But where new markets emerge the report that came out today clearly indicated … that the UK brand is the key that unlocks the door to get into those markets.
“We need to be using our best options here, and in the first instance in those markets use the UK branding, and then move onto the good story that we have to tell about Welsh produce.”